… that male deer can be aggressive and violent with household pets during the rutting season.

I have lived with deer in our neighborhood in San Antonio for almost 40 years. We have always given them a wide berth and enjoyed seeing them from a distance until the past few years. As their habitat has been overtaken by development, they can be found in our backyard almost any time of the day or night.

We live on at least an acre, but even in the presence of our dogs in a fenced part of the yard, the deer come surprisingly close. Some of our newer neighbors began feeding the deer daily, so their numbers have greatly increased. People who feed them are creating a baby boom of deer that cannot be supported in an urban area.

– Linda L., via email

DEAR HELOISE:

A dish drying mat makes a good fit and a comfy pad to line Kitty’s crate when traveling in the car. It is washable and dries quickly. On vacation with Kitty, if another mat is needed, one can usually be found inexpensively at any dollar store.

– Adele M., Derry, N.H.

DEAR HELOISE:

Your advice about growing cacti reminded me of a gardening column that I read many years ago. A reader asked how often to water her cactus garden, and the reply was to watch the weather in Phoenix: If it rains in Phoenix, water your cactus.

– Rich F., Custer, S.D.

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